Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 14, 2008 12:08 ET

Media Advisory: Nijmegen Marchers Begin 160- Kilometre Trek

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - The contingent of some 205 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel participating in this year's Nijmegen Marches will begin their journey though the countryside and crowded streets of towns and villages in the Nijmegen area on July 15.

Physically and mentally strong, the CF contingent represents the entire Canadian Forces. It is made up of 11-person teams selected from Regular and Reserve Force units across Canada. During the months of training required to be selected for the Canadian contingent, candidates build their stamina by marching, on average, 700 km with their rucksacks. Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel consider it an honour and privilege to be selected for the gruelling four-day event.

The Nijmegen Marches is primarily a team event that develops such core military values as leadership, teamwork and endurance, and each team is expected to complete the marches successfully in good order and with the team intact. The marches are neither competitive nor a speed test, but they do require proper training and a good team spirit to ensure success.

The participation of a large CF contingent in the Nijmegen Marches demonstrates our dedication to remembering the Canadians who died liberating the Netherlands during the Second World War. The area surrounding Nijmegen has special significance as the location of First Canadian Army during the winter of 1944-1945. During the four days of marching, CF members walk the terrain where so many Canadians fell.

The Nijmegen Marches began in 1909 as a Dutch Army activity developed to build infantry soldiers' strength, stamina and morale. With only two interruptions over 99 years - 1914-1915, and 1940-1945 - the Nijmegen Marches has evolved into an international event attracting thousands of civilian participants as well as hundreds of other military teams. More than 44,000 marchers from at least 50 nations are expected to participate this year.

Note to news and assignment editors:
Teams in this year's Nijmegen Marches come from:
- Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), Halifax/Dartmouth, N. S.;
- Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), Esquimalt, B. C.;
- Land Forces Atlantic Area (LFAA), Gagetown and Moncton, N.B.;
- 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Atla.;
- 12 Wing, Shearwater, N.S.;
- 8 Wing, Trenton, Ont.;
- 14 Wing, Greenwood, N.S.;
- 19 Wing Comox, B.C.;
- Royal Military College (RMC), Kingston, Ont.;
- CFB Borden, Ont.;
- CFS St-Johns, N.L.;
- Ottawa, Ont. (3 teams);
- Naval Reservists from across Canada.

Canadian media outlets can organize interviews with Canadian Forces personnel in Nijmegen by contacting the Public Affairs Officer on location, Capt VG Winter, at: 613-697-2963.

As still imagery of the Nijmegen Marches is obtained it will be posted on the Combat Camera website at:

For information on Canadian Forces participation in the Nijmegen Marches, visit:

For further information, visit the official website of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen at:

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